Dementia is a syndrome that deteriorates memory, thinking and behaviour is an extremely dangerous illness caused to older people. World wide over 50 million people suffer from this as well as 10 million new patients are diagnosed every year.
Loss of memory is the main symptom of dementia. A person affected by this syndrome may have a hard time recalling dates, recent events or even new information. Dementia patients also rely on other people to help recall memories embedded earlier due to being unable to focus.
Those who are diagnosed also experience difficulty in planning and solving problems. To them, following a plan would be an extremely difficult task. Dementia also results in losing motor skills and even the ability to walk while confusions may occur about the present environment. Dementia patients, due to lack of memory and awareness, lose track of where they are which would result in an extremely uncomfortable and unsafe situation for them.
Taking care of a dementia patient is not an easy task, this requires a lot of energy, patience and time. Here are five ways of taking care of your parents or relatives who are diagnosed with dementia.
- Setting positive energy for interaction is a very important part. Having great energy when speaking to a dementia patient is important because facial expressions or social cues help convey your message more clearly to the patient than just words. It is important that you show your affection not only through words but your face. Suggestively choosing voice fluctuations and maintaining eye contact is a healthy way of communicating with the patient. Most care homes in UK, such as Intercare have trained nurses to interact with patients with patience and kindness which are vital when handling situations like this.
- Asking simple questions is another very important part. Even diagnosed with dementia your loved one will always be your loved one, who deserves to be heard and listened to. To help them, it is our task to make their decisions on behalf of them or help them make the decisions. Making open-ended questions or questions with multiple possible answers is not advisable. It is seen best that a visual representation of the objects for choice would immensely help their decision. Most nursing homes and care home companies practice these methods to ensure the patients are comfortable and progressing towards recovery.
- Breaking down tasks into subtasks is another way of helping out a dementia patient. This means a great deal for them, to be able to accomplish day to day tasks. So in breaking down the task, you make sure that the patient, while attending to the specific area of the task, will have your guidance and assistance. Many nurses use hand gestures to communicate and remind them of social cues and suggest what needs to happen next. This is a very helpful mechanism for many dementia patients and their caretakers.
- Distracting and redirecting is a necessary part of taking care of a dementia patient. Having a confused reality, the patients may recall untrue memories which would ultimately raise the level of anxiety in them. In a situation like this, trying to prove that they have an altered memory is not a suitable thing to do. Doctors treating dementia patients do not think of it as the most sensible thing to do. Showing sympathy briefly towards the ‘situation’, trying to change the subject to something else is practised by many care homes and nurses in difficult situations. Even though dementia patients have a hard time recalling short-term memories they tend to clearly remember memories made long ago.
- We cannot stress enough about how much care and attention needed by a patient. This sometimes becomes a hectic task for someone who has to balance a work-life as well. Care home providers in the UK are keen to take in dementia patients because the attention needed can be provided better than at home. Because of the loss of memory, confusion and anxiety in patients tend to wander off risking themselves falling or even unfortunate roadside accidents. The best option for this is choosing a nursing home. It is recommended to choose a good nursing home company in UK such as Intercare. They are equipped with the latest technology and specializes in dementia to give your loved ones the care they deserve.
So, taking care of a dementia patient may sometimes seem like a tremendously hard task. Treat your loved ones with the best care they deserve. Give them the best of the best to make sure their time is well spent in comfort and safety.